Gatwick Obviously

The umbrella group for all areas East of Gatwick

e-newsletter No.15

Dear All

What on Earth have you done?

Well, firstly, you played a very important part in putting the brakes on that woeful 'Consultation' and its proposal to condemn an innocent minority with endless persecution from the skies.

"You will have seen in the news however that Gatwick have postponed such a submission for change following significant local resistance."
  Peter Gardiner, Business Manager to the Chair and CEO, CAA, 1st October 2014

Then, you persuaded Kent County Council - England's largest 2-tier council (by population) and of enormous influence in this debate - to change its stance.

"I am sure you will have heard the good news by now that Kent County Council is opposing a second runway at Gatwick."
Paul Carter CBE, Leader, KCC, 1st December 2014

"An unprecedented number of emails were sent to the Leader of Kent County Council by local residents of West Kent who were angry and frustrated at the noise generated by aircraft flying over the area this summer.  Those emails, following the pathway so clearly set out by the Gatwick Obviously Not website, were the single factor in forcing the County Council to change its aviation policy and, as a consequence, to openly and publicly reject the proposed second runway at Gatwick."
Kent County Councillor Clive Pearman, 11th December 2014

And then last week we asked you to write to Wealden District Councillors to see if they supported their County Council's stance to support the 2nd runway.
Subsequently their Leader (and others) wrote to us (and many others) saying, among other things:

"… Wealden District Council has not agreed to support for the second runway …"
Bob Standley, Leader of Wealden District  Council, 10th December 2014

Next: East Sussex County Council.

You know the story (1 man, no vote, delegated powers, increasingly isolated …)
This morning we launched a voting platform for all 49 East Sussex Cllrs.
Do they support Cllr Simmons & the second runway?
See below.

Every time one of the 49 replies with a 'yes' we will add it to the list.
After Christmas we'll do some sums and will be able to tell Cllr Simmons, you and all the local print and broadcast media exactly how much support he has.

But if you'd like to write to all 49 Cllr's at once to add your powerful voice to the discussion, just use this handy address:

And if you wonder what we're up to now - well last night I called for a meeting of all (12 and counting) Campaign Group Leaders to agree on a united message. It was a successful evening and we will brief you all in the New Year.

Many thanks and Happy Christmas.

You have achieved so much. Gatwick really do have nowhere to hide.


Martin Barraud

Calling all 49 East Sussex County Councillors
- it's time for a vote

Dear Councillors

Democracy - what does it mean?

Why did you stand for election? I presume it wasn't for the money. You wanted to represent others in your community, perhaps less bold than yourself but no less committed in their thoughts for the rights of 'the common man'.

And you were elected. Now it's time for your voice to be heard - before it's drowned out by the aural sabotage of your County from a plane being delivered to Gatwick every 30 seconds, from a point merge somewhere over Crowborough or Mayfield, (no-one will admit where exactly) if they succeed in building a second runway.

The silent majority is becoming restless. And increasingly well informed. Gatwick has a very slick PR operation (almost as good as ours but rather more expensive) feeding all sorts of information out to the media - but we have the ear of the people. 1,252 of them. And counting.

And isn't it the people that really count?

I have nothing personally against Cllr Simmons, I've never met him, I'm sure he's as upstanding as the rest of you.
I - and many on our database - do however have an issue with one man deciding the fate of an entire County under delegated powers without a vote, for a monumental decision such as whether to support Gatwick's second runway - or not.

Paul Carter, KCC Leader, recently took Kent towards opposing the second runway. This was a truly courageous about turn, in the full glare of publicity. Maybe why he has the CBE.

And all he got for his trouble was praise. And thanks. And most importantly gave life to the concept of 'democracy'. For immediately following his decision, the Kent Messenger ran a poll asking 'Do you think KCC should oppose a second runway at Gatwick Airport'. I've just checked - nearly 1600 votes cast and a gargantuan majority of 81% say he did the right thing. See some of Mr Carter's reasons, below, and compare them to your Cllr Simmons' assertions of Gatwick's merits.

Yesterday, Moody's (an international credit rating agency) cast a long shadow over Gatwick's hopes with this gloomy statement (for Gatwick). Again, compare this international business expert's views to those of Cllr Simmons.

"A new runway will have mixed credit implications for London airports.
A runway at Heathrow would allow the airport to benefit from growth in future traffic volumes, and a new runway at Gatwick would not take significant traffic from Heathrow.
Gatwick, on the other hand, would be vulnerable to airlines switching to an expanded Heathrow, whilst a new runway at Gatwick would increase its airport charges and could alienate its price-sensitive airlines
(Xavier Lopez del Rincon, Moody's vice president and author of the report).

The article goes on to say:

"Moody's expects that Gatwick will be more vulnerable to competition if Heathrow were to build a new runway as it would be at risk of losing scheduled airline traffic to Heathrow, where carriers can typically earn more per passenger mile.
Conversely, the construction of a Gatwick runway would almost double aeronautical charges at the airport, putting it at a huge competitive disadvantage to Stansted, which is its main competitor in the low-cost airlines segment



It seems Gatwick's PR machine doesn't stretch as far as West Kent. Only their aerial bombardment of noise, creating nice juicy landing fees to be dispatched abroad with unseemly haste before any Corporation Tax can be levied. Year after year.

We have taken our message about the injustice of superhighways in the sky directly to the Secretary of State and he appears to be listening:


I am in dialogue with No.10 with exactly the same message:


As you can see, on December 2nd they replied to me stating:
"As respite is not currently defined in Government policy, the Government expects airports to engage with local communities to design a solution that fits local circumstances."

And indeed we do.

Finally, Cllr Larkin from Wealden District, such an important and strategic part of your County, let me know yesterday that:
"I am pleased to confirm that Wealden District Council has not agreed to support the second runway at Gatwick." (His bold).

Later the same day WDC's Leader, Bob Standley, was in touch with a similar message:
"… Wealden District Council has not agreed to support for the second runway and continues to gather more information"

East Sussex Councillors, regain your voices or be cast into the wilderness of the impending noise ghetto that a second runway and a superhighway will bring to your constituents.
It has been called an environmental persecution of the minority.

Weren't you elected to protect such people?

The Prime Minister's office, the Secretary of State for Transport, the Leader of England's largest 2-tier County Council, the good councillors of your own Wealden District - they are all listening and they have all been in touch.

This is democracy in action. Along with that resounding vote of the people above.

Now it's your turn to vote. If you agree with Cllr Simmons' stance and believe ESCC should back a second runway, please send an email to with "I back Simmons" in the subject line from your official ESCC email account. Deadline midnight December 24th.

The tally will be updated regularly and after Christmas we can announce to all how many of you support his stance. Easy.

Martin Barraud

P.S. Following this table is Paul Carter's email detailing some of the reasons why he thinks the second runway should not be backed.

photo of Councillor John Barnes Councillor John Barnes
Rother North West
photo of Councillor Colin Belsey Councillor Colin Belsey
Eastbourne - Ratton
photo of Councillor Nick Bennett Councillor Nick Bennett
Alfriston, East Hoathly & Hellingly
photo of Councillor Bill Bentley Councillor Bill Bentley
Hailsham & Herstmonceux
photo of Councillor Jeremy Birch Councillor Jeremy Birch
Hastings - Old Hastings & Tressell
photo of Councillor Mike Blanch Councillor Mike Blanch
Eastbourne - Hampden Park
photo of Councillor Ian Buchanan Councillor Ian Buchanan
Peacehaven & Telscombe Towns
photo of Councillor Carla Butler Councillor Carla Butler
Newhaven & Ouse Valley West
photo of Councillor Frank Carstairs Councillor Frank Carstairs
Seaford Sutton
photo of Councillor Peter Charlton Councillor Peter Charlton
Ouse Valley East
photo of Councillor Charles Clark Councillor Charles Clark
Bexhill East
photo of Councillor Godfrey Daniel Councillor Godfrey Daniel
Hastings - Braybrooke & Castle
photo of Councillor Angharad Davies Councillor Angharad Davies
Northern Rother
photo of Councillor Claire Dowling Councillor Claire Dowling
photo of Councillor Chris Dowling Councillor Chris Dowling
Framfield & Horam
photo of Councillor Stuart Earl Councillor Stuart Earl
Bexhill West
photo of Councillor David Elkin Councillor David Elkin
Eastbourne - Sovereign
photo of Councillor Michael Ensor Councillor Michael Ensor
Bexhill King Offa
photo of Councillor Kathryn Field Councillor Kathryn Field
Battle & Crowhurst
photo of Councillor Kim Forward Councillor Kim Forward
Hastings - Maze Hill & West St Leonards
photo of Councillor Roy Galley Councillor Roy Galley
Buxted Maresfield
photo of Councillor Keith Glazier Councillor Keith Glazier
Rye & Eastern Rother
photo of Councillor John Hodges Councillor John Hodges
Hastings - St Helens & Silverhill
photo of Councillor Phil Howson Councillor Phil Howson
Peacehaven & Telscombe Towns
photo of Councillor Laurence Keeley Councillor Laurence Keeley
Hailsham & Herstmonceux
photo of Councillor Carolyn Lambert Councillor Carolyn Lambert
Seaford Blatchington
photo of Councillor Carl Maynard Councillor Carl Maynard
Brede Valley & Marsham
photo of Councillor Ruth O'Keeffe Councillor Ruth O'Keeffe
photo of Councillor Michael Phillips Councillor Michael Phillips
Bexhill King Offa
photo of Councillor Peter Pragnell Councillor Peter Pragnell
Hastings - Ashdown & Conquest
photo of Councillor Mike Pursglove Councillor Mike Pursglove
Pevensey & Westham
photo of Councillor Pat Rodohan Councillor Pat Rodohan
Eastbourne - Upperton
photo of Councillor Phil Scott Councillor Phil Scott
Hastings - Hollington & Wishing Tree
photo of Councillor Jim Sheppard Councillor Jim Sheppard
photo of Councillor Stephen Shing Councillor Stephen Shing
Polegate, Willingdon & East Dean
photo of Councillor Daniel Shing Councillor Daniel Shing
Polegate, Willingdon & East Dean
photo of Councillor Alan Shuttleworth Councillor Alan Shuttleworth
Eastbourne - Langney
photo of Councillor Rupert Simmons Councillor Rupert Simmons
photo of Councillor Rosalyn St Pierre Councillor Rosalyn St Pierre
Ringmer & Lewes Bridge
photo of Councillor Bob Standley Councillor Bob Standley
photo of Councillor Richard Stogdon Councillor Richard Stogdon
photo of Councillor Barry Taylor Councillor Barry Taylor
Eastbourne - Meads
photo of Councillor Sylvia Tidy Councillor Sylvia Tidy
photo of Councillor David Tutt Councillor David Tutt
Eastbourne - St Anthony's
photo of Councillor John Ungar Councillor John Ungar
Eastbourne - Old Town
photo of Councillor Steve Wallis Councillor Steve Wallis
Eastbourne - Devonshire
photo of Councillor Trevor Webb Councillor Trevor Webb
Hastings - Central St Leonards & Gensing
photo of Councillor Francis Whetstone Councillor Francis Whetstone
Forest Row
photo of Councillor Michael Wincott Councillor Michael Wincott
Hastings - Baird & Ore

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul.Carter-LEADER
Sent: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 9:19
Subject: RE: An invitation from Gatwick Obviously

Dear Mr Barraud,

Thank you for your email dated 1 December 2014, and your message of thanks.

Thank you for your invitation for me to send you my thoughts for consideration in your response to the Airports Commission which you will be discussing at your meeting on 11 December. Kent County Council will be making a full response to the Airports Commission by the close of the consultation on 3 February, and I will be making a short statement to the Airports Commission's public discussion session in Crawley on 16 December. Our policy on Gatwick is stated in the Cabinet Report which can be read at

I believe there are merits of Heathrow expansion when compared to Gatwick, in particular, the superior surface transport access. Here are some specific points on surface access which you may like to include in your submission:

I hope that this is of use to you and that you will share with me a copy of your submission to the Airports Commission so that it will help to inform our own response.

Your sincerely,

Paul Carter, CBE
Leader of Kent County Council

December 12th 2014

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